First bad clinical experience

  1. Hello everyone...I'm a first year nursing student in a 2 year ADN program. Things have been going really well this semester (98, 92, 98 and 96 on four exams) and have gotten satisfactory evaluations on my clinical experiences...up until now.

    Today's experience was fine in terms of patient care...no problems there. The problem was that I had to leave the clinical area to get a form that I needed and didn't notify my instructor that I was leaving. She said that once I was an RN I would be responsible for my patients and that I should never leave the floor without notifying anyone. Therefore, I'm going to receive a U (unsatisfactory) in at least one of my clinical categories.

    I understand what she's saying of course...but it doesn't make me feel any better. Always the perfectionist, I'm really totally bummed out because I made a mistake.

    Am I beating myself up too much over this?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Quote from cmarques
    hello everyone...i'm a first year nursing student in a 2 year adn program. things have been going really well this semester (98, 92, 98 and 96 on four exams) and have gotten satisfactory evaluations on my clinical experiences...up until now.

    today's experience was fine in terms of patient care...no problems there. the problem was that i had to leave the clinical area to get a form that i needed and didn't notify my instructor that i was leaving. she said that once i was an rn i would be responsible for my patients and that i should never leave the floor without notifying anyone. therefore, i'm going to receive a u (unsatisfactory) in at least one of my clinical categories.

    i understand what she's saying of course...but it doesn't make me feel any better. always the perfectionist, i'm really totally bummed out because i made a mistake.

    am i beating myself up too much over this?
    and to allnurses.com

    great to have you with us.

    i know you are hurt and upset about this. it will not affect you as far as finishing this level, right?

    just chalk it up to experience gained the hard way. your instructor is correct in the fact you will always be responsible for the patients and not allowed to just leave without notifying someone and receiving permission to do so.

    but, don't beat yourself up. just go on and continue to make those fantastic grades. congrats on that!
  4. by   maolin
    I don't know how your evaluation process works, so I can't speak to the appropriateness of your rating specifically. Our program rates criteria as Performs independently, Performs with some prompting and Unsatisfactory performance (usually reserved for serious infractions - incidents, unpreparedness, etc). Something like what your are describing would probably be remarked in the eval, maybe as w/ prompting. While it's unfortunate, your instructor does have a point - if your leaving the unit, you should let someone know. A staff RN might have a pager or something, so notification may not be required at every facility, but it's a reasonable expectation generally. It's a valuable and memorable lesson you've learned. And I'll bet you never make that mistake again. I wouldn't stress to much about this one thing - just learn from it and move on. Sounds like you're doing an excellent job in NS - no easy feat. Keep focused on doing your best!
  5. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from cmarques
    Hello everyone...I'm a first year nursing student in a 2 year ADN program. Things have been going really well this semester (98, 92, 98 and 96 on four exams) and have gotten satisfactory evaluations on my clinical experiences...up until now.

    Today's experience was fine in terms of patient care...no problems there. The problem was that I had to leave the clinical area to get a form that I needed and didn't notify my instructor that I was leaving. She said that once I was an RN I would be responsible for my patients and that I should never leave the floor without notifying anyone. Therefore, I'm going to receive a U (unsatisfactory) in at least one of my clinical categories.

    I understand what she's saying of course...but it doesn't make me feel any better. Always the perfectionist, I'm really totally bummed out because I made a mistake.

    Am I beating myself up too much over this?
    Don't beat yourself up! You have learned a valuable lesson. As for being a perfectionist, as a nurse you WILL make mistakes. It's just being human. I agree with the above post that you will never forget this. Count this as one of the valuable things you learn in clinical that you don't in the classroom. You're not going to have this hanging over your head for very long. Besides, look at those grades... you are obviously a dedicated student who takes time to study, and the fact that you are "beating yourself up" rather than blaming anyone shows that you care- which is a wonderful quality in a nurse.

    Lori
  6. by   Daytonite
    Hi! I understand you feel badly about this, however your instructor was right in her rationalization of this. As an RN you cannot just walk off your nursing unit without making sure there is another RN covering for you and she knows where you are. So, lesson learned. You won't do this again, I bet. More importantly, you'll most likely never do it when you start working as an RN.

    You will make many, many mistakes as a student and as an RN. Hopefully, none of them will be serious and none of them will be done deliberately. We all have to deal with this kind of situation many times throughout our careers. The real question is, how are you going to handle it? The best way is to appologize, show some remorse, do not get defensive, and then make a mental note of how to handle this situation the next time the opportunity presents itself. No one is perfect. The good thing here is that you're not a pilgrim named Hester Prynne and having to wear a big, red "A" on your chest. It'd look pretty strange on your uniform, anyway.

    While your instructor may have been a little harsh, I think she made her point with you. She did it to emphasize the importance of your future role as the supervisor of the patients and caregivers you will be working with. That is a very important concept for you to learn. She's not failing you for the entire course, is she?
  7. by   cmarques
    Thanks for all your kind responses, everyone.

    Yes, I learned a very valuable lesson and it is indeed one I will not forget. My instructor and I had a discussion about what happened. I apologized profusely and explained what I learned from this experience...and promised to never do it again! I feel much better about it now. The U (unsatisfactory) will stand but it will not fail me for the entire course....thank goodness!

    Thanks again!
    Christian
  8. by   tlhubbard
    I know where you are coming from. I tried so hard to be perfect throughout nursing school. However, if you have learned a lesson the hard way, it's better now than later. At least your patients still had your mentor on the floor.

    Sounds like the kind of lesson you won't soon forget. So you'll be a better nurse for it. Good luck to you in your studies.
  9. by   GrnHonu99
    Atleast you learned from your mistake!
  10. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    Hi and welcome to AllNurses.com! :hatparty:

    I'm glad you are feeling better about it all now. I hope that you are able to get over this, and continue making those excellent grades. (Don't let it set you back any, in other words.)

    Good luck.

    Quote from cmarques
    Thanks for all your kind responses, everyone.

    Yes, I learned a very valuable lesson and it is indeed one I will not forget. My instructor and I had a discussion about what happened. I apologized profusely and explained what I learned from this experience...and promised to never do it again! I feel much better about it now. The U (unsatisfactory) will stand but it will not fail me for the entire course....thank goodness!

    Thanks again!
    Christian

close